EU Commission approves subsidies for planned Northvolt factory.
The EU Commission has granted the planned subsidies for Swedish company Northvolt’s e-car battery factory in Germany: More than 900 million euros will be released for the construction of the plant near Heide in Schleswig-Holstein. The German government had already approved a funding decision in December, but the EU Commission had yet to authorise it.
It is the first aid to prevent the relocation of investments outside Europe, said Margrethe Vestager, EU Commissioner for Competition Policy; Northvolt would otherwise build the plant in the USA, where support was offered under the Inflation Reduction Act. The EU aid is in line with the Green Deal Industrial Plan for the transition to a climate-neutral economy, which is seen as a kind of response to the US subsidies.
The plant will have an annual capacity of 60 GWh, sufficient for 800,000 to one million electric vehicles per year, the Commission writes. Production is scheduled to start in 2026, with full production capacity to be reached in 2029.
Northvolt’s self-declared goal is to produce particularly environmentally friendly batteries for electric cars, with significantly lower CO2 emissions from production to recycling, made possible among other things by the exclusive use of non-fossil energy in production: the planned site is well connected to the wind turbines in the North Sea.